I’ve been “Snopes-ed”: http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp
Although I cannot locate any reference to Fisher’s “own telling” (“Here's how Fisher themselves described it”), as quoted by Terry Etapa, Snopes and others, it appears my original post has been thoroughly debunked
(Steven J. Dick, NASA Chief Historian): http://history.nasa.gov/spacepen.html
Fisher Space Pen Co. (Goto “History”):
Interview with Paul C. Fisher, inventor of the Fisher Space Pen:
Mr. Paul C. Fisher, inventor of the Fisher SpacepenThe Fisher Space Pen was developed by Paul C. Fisher. Below is an interview with Mr. Fisher as featured on AudiologyOnline.com in which Mr. Fisher tells about how he started with the development of the Fisher Space Pen and how the Fisher Space Pen saved the Apollo 11 mission back in 1969. Did you know the Fisher Space Pen also has a flaw? No? Well keep on reading because Mr. Fisher reveals it in this interview!
Dr. Beck: ... and how did you start working with NASA?
Paul C. Fisher:
In 1965, NASA came to us and they said they had been using pencils in space flight, and they said that pencils were too dangerous to use in space during long flights because of the debris and the scrap. NASA asked us, would you make us a pen? I said, I've been trying to make a good pen for 20 years and it cannot be done. They were not deterred….they said Mr. Fisher, you do more pen research than anyone else, and we'd like you to try again. Well, that made me think. Then about two nights later I had an interesting dream. My father had died about two years before, and in that dream, he came to me and said Paul, if you add a minute amount of rosin to the ink, that will stop the oozing. I told the chemist about that, and the chemist laughed! He said that won't work….he tried every type and quantity of rosin. Three months later he came back to me and he said I was right! He said he was trying to find a way to make rosin work, but then he realized that I meant resin! He used two percent resin, and it worked fine. Even with 140 pounds of air pressure behind it, it didn't leak. I called NASA and told them we could do it, and we developed the most valuable patent in all of the pen industry. And our pens have been used ever since in all of the manned space flights.
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